Thursday, December 06, 2007

What is a shared residence order?

A shared residence order simply states that the children have 2 homes - rather than living with one parent and seeing the other the children live with both. It does not have to be on an equal basis and the children can live with one parent only 1 or 2 days per week but the label is still that they live there as opposed to visit.

What is the point of a shared residence order?

It equalises the power between the parents. It emphasis that both have similar rights and responsibilities , which is the point of parental responsibility but it has practical implications too. It may supply a right to council housing, it carries more weight than a contact order if the other parent wishes to leave the area or even the country. It currently has judicial approval.

How common are shared residence orders?

They used to be rare, the thinking being that in order for them to work there had to be cooperation and goodwill between the parents and if that was the case they would not be in court fighting but would have made their own arrangements.

Now the philosophy has changed and they are regarded as a useful tool to make parents cooperate and accept each other. The increase in father's rights groups may have had an impact on this.

Do they work?

In many respects they are no different to a contact and residence order and whether they work or not depends upon how organised and reasonable the parents are.

Want to make your child feel awful?

Criticise and berate the other parent in front of them.

Want your child to grow up insecure?

Tell him/her that he is useless like his/her other parent. It is very easy to destroy your own child and telling someone that they are stupid when they are 5 will shape their adult personality.

The choice is yours - you may hate your ex but encouraging your child to do so will damage your child irreparably!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Will getting divorced make me happier?

That depends on why you are getting divorced and how unhappy you are now. Only you know the answer to this. Many people dither for years thinking life on the other side of unhappy coupledom will be worse. Perhaps it will but to a very large extent that is your choice. Most people who contact me some time after their divorce talk of a feeling of relief and do not regret breaking up an unhappy home.

When a divorce is the right decision:

1. If you are scared of your partner.
2. If your partner is scared of you.
3. If you loath your partner and his/her breathing or laugh or mannerisms makes you want to scream or hit him/her.
4. If you would rather perform some unpleasant duty than go home to your partner and this happens a lot.
5. If you are in love with someone else.
6. If your partner is in love with someone else.
7. If you have fantasies of your partner dying.
8. If you have fantasies of dying yourself and it has got nothing to do with work related stress or any other issue but simply a wish to escape your partner (this is extremely serious by the way and you should seek help from your doctor immediately).

If any of the above apply to you then divorcing will make you less unhappy - however being happy depends on the rest of your life and takes work.

When a divorce maybe the right decision:

1. You treat your partner with a lack of respect.
2. Your partner treats you with a lack of respect.
3. You are having an affair or meaningless fling with someone else.
4. Your partner is having an affair or meaningless fling with someone else.
5. You are lonely in your marriage.
6. Your partner is lonely in your marriage.
7. You are bored - big time bored - not just a bit restless.
8. Ditto your partner is bored as in 7 above.

If any of the above apply then a careful analysis of any possible solutions such as attending counselling or changing something is needed before going ahead. Divorce may be the result but it will probably be followed by a period of guilt and ultimate happiness depends on how you choose to live your single life. Divorce in the above scenario may make you less unhappy.